WelCom May 2023
Ngā Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand launched their new Whānau Mercy Ministries in March, at Auckland’s Cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph.
The celebrant Bishop Steve Lowe, the Bishop of Auckland, the new Trustees of Whānau Mercy Ministries, special guests and representatives from the Tiaki Manatū incorporated ministries, gathered with the Sisters of Mercy for a Eucharistic Celebration for the launch.
The new Ministerial Public Juridic Person (MPJP) – known as Whānau Mercy Ministries – is independent of Ngā Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand.
The Whānau Mercy Ministries took up their responsibilities as a new charitable trust on 1 April, owning the incorporated ministries the Sisters founded as far back as 173 years ago.
As the number of sisters has diminished, need for change became obvious, the Sisters said in a statement. After discernment, preparation and a petition to the Holy See, the Sisters received approval to create this new canonical and civil entity.
‘As sisters, we have discerned the need for new levels of energy and expertise to see these works of mercy sustained and carried into the future.
‘Led by lay people, the structure provides for long-term stable governance and the continuance of the Catholic identity and the mercy charism of the ministries.’
Established by decree on 27 November 2022, the Sisters say Whānau Mercy Ministries is the first MPJP of Pontifical Right for Aotearoa New Zealand.
With Whānau Mercy Ministries established, the board of Ngā Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Tiaki Manatū Sisters of Mercy Ministries Trust will cease. The Sisters of Mercy, in creating this independent entity, will become known as the sponsor Congregation.
The Whānau Mercy Ministries trustees applied to and were selected by Ngā Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Tiaki Manatū Sisters of Mercy Ministries Trust. The new trustees serve a term of three years.
The incorporated ministries that will move into the new structure are in healthcare, education, community development and affordable housing for seniors.
‘For us as a Congregation, this is a profound moment of change. A seminal moment in our history and it has been a very important decision. The decision marks a shift in our journey as vowed mercy women in Aotearoa,’ said Sr Sue France rsm, the Congregation Leader of Ngā Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand.
‘In many ways, the shift has been made over time and now this is the final step, and we know it is the right one,’ she said.
Source: Ngā Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand